Q: How can I prevent weight gain during the holiday season?

Do you know what the average amount of weight gain is for adults during the winter holiday season? Many people think it’s in the range of 5-10 lbs, but it really is closer to 1 pound. The problem with that extra weight however, is that it usually sticks around and accumulates, leading to an unhealthy weight. Rather than facing the New Year with a resolution to lose that added weight, why not prevent that weight gain altogether?

You may find the 3 P Strategies helpful in preventing holiday weight gain and easy to remember.
Plan to eat regular healthy meals throughout the day−don’t “save” your calories up by skipping meals. If you arrive to a party hungry, you will lack self-control and tend to eat anything and everything placed in front of you. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff explained in his blog rather nicely, “Willpower is the absence of hunger.”
Pick a smaller plate, like a salad plate, instead of a huge dinner plate. This will help you limit yourself to smaller portions. If you are feeling particularly filled with the healthy holiday spirit, try to fill ½ of your plate with vegetables, ¼ with a starchy choice, and ¼ with protein.
Now pick a place to eat your food away from the buffet table.
Pass on seconds. A good way to help you succeed with this is to slow down when eating. Wait for 20 minutes and give your body a chance to recognize if it’s full. If you are still hungry, go for seconds of steamed or raw vegetables.

-Aurora Buffinton, M.S., R.D.

Q: What muscle groups do you recommend working together?

Certified Trainer Dominic French explains:When it comes to working out certain muscles groups it depends on your goals, and how many days a week you want to lift. For example, the novice I recommend an exercise for each body part (overall routine) 3 days out of the week, with one day of rest in between.

Fitness Magazines throw out tons of combinations, but the ultimate goal for anyone is to get the most out of that body part, and to schedule the best recovery. The trick to reading all those articles on programs is figuring out which works best for you.The combinations like back & biceps, shoulders & triceps, chest & legs will work just fine if you space them out properly. Now, if you are going for the more advanced routine, 1-2 body parts per day means that you also do a few different exercises per one body part. Bodybuilders use these types of routines because their goal is to penetrate a particular muscle group until they can’t stand anymore, hence the reason for such a long recovery period.

Some people like to train muscle groups completely separate from one another, some like to train those more closely complementing each other. How you plan your routine really is dependent upon your fitness level. For example, the chest & triceps routine work well together because bench press or push-ups involve the triceps as well as the pectoralis muscles. The same idea goes for the involvement of the biceps with the back exercises, i.e. row machine. Keep the fundamentals in mind before getting too fancy. It’s all about what works best for your goals and your safety.

1. Plan
2. Exercise
3. Rest & Recovery

For more information on muscle-strenthening activities visit the CDC’s webpage